Monday, May 19, 2008

I've been wondering...

... ever since I saw the jar in someone's pantry.

Who was it who came up with the idea for bottling gravy in "Creamy Chicken Tandoori" flavour? Has this person ever tasted, or come within sniffing distance of, tandoori chicken? Hence, does this person have a clue that for the many things tandoori chicken is, such as spicy, juicy (if it's good tandoori chicken), fragrant, tender, and the list goes on... for the many things that it is, one thing that tandoori chicken never is, is "creamy"? I mean, it's chicken that has a skewer stuck through it before it's baked in a clay oven. Where is the cream going to go?

Lazy market research people, BAH.

What? Me, in a grumpy mood? No. I just like things properly labelled.

Speaking of tandoori, though, I had some the other day that was not bad at all. It was all those things I mentioned above; it could almost fall off the bone with a gentle shake; it could have been a tiny bit spicier; it was served on a Chinese hot plate. The wonders of multiculturalism.

Why am I eating out in expensive Sydney while still unemployed? It's my friends, you see. Beautiful friends I have who were so concerned that I wouldn't eat well post-chin-gashing that they took me out for dinner, ordered twice as much as necessary, then insisted I bring the leftovers home.

So for one dinner, I had the tastiest biryani I've had in years, with a side of palak paneer. The latter has been one of my favourite dishes since I first tasted it as a nipper. It's finely chopped (mashed?) spinach, cooked in oil, with cubes of cottage cheese in it. The last time I had it in KL, one of my dinner companions thought the cheese was tau fu. It's one of my comfort foods; I just have to have a spoonful of it and I'm 11 again, having dinner at (sadly) long-gone Baluchi with my mum, brother and uncle. (Better that Northern Indian food memory than another one which involves the same company, minus one, and me unfortunately forgetting to bring the cash with which my brother and I had planned to treat my mum to dinner.

Last night, dinner was the remainder of a roti, with another of my all-time favourite dishes, butter chicken. For breakfast, I'd had a quarter each of two types of naan: one stuffed with cheese (oh, how it made me miss the order-takers at Murni/Mohsin/Purnama/miscellaneous other mamaks with their endless lists of naan. "Chis naan, bahter naan, kasmiri naan, garlic naan, garlic butter, garlic chis, pizza naan..." "Pizza naan?" we'd ask. And inevitably, someone in the group would order it just for curiosity's sake, and it would sometimes be a delicious soft, fluffy cheese naan with more cheese sprinkled on top, then tomato, then... spring onion? The wonders of multiculturalism. Say, this has been a long parenthesis) and the other with grated coconut, nuts and honey.

But before all this food was leftovers, it was being enjoyed in-house, in the warm company of Kam and Darsh. My head was still spinning from the previous night's fall. I didn't know yet that I had concussion and whiplash. I tried to chew with a jaw that hurt more than I'd realised earlier in the day. But it was beautiful food, enjoyed with beautiful people, and that made it more enjoyable than painful.

And I still think people have no business inventing "creamy chicken tandoori" gravy (to be eaten with chicken, beef or lamb!). Why make something up when the real thing lies at your fingertips?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails